Tag Archives: Automated Phone Calls

Are Mobile Apps The Future of Customer Service?

Between reading about the recent addition of ICE (Interactive Customer Experience’) TV and Mobile programs, a virtual, interactive concierge service, to the newly opened JW Marriott Indianapolis Downtown and learning the results of the most recent J.D. Power and Associates study on customer satisfaction‘wherein automated response systems did nearly as well as the industry average satisfaction level’it seems clear that automated customer service and customer service systems are a trend with staying power. American Airlines, as we discussed last week, also offers mobile applications to keep customer experiences stress free, such as the Mobile Boarding Pass system.

With a general public that is increasingly using smart phones to text and tap their way through the day, it’s hardly surprising that some would prefer to address customer service issues in this manner. Why dial an 800 number and wait to speak to a service representative, when you can call up the Internet or an app from your mobile device for immediate answers? What was once simply the realm of Interactive Voice Response technology now includes elements such as text, touch and visual inputs and outputs.

What is your company doing when it comes to automated response systems and mobile technology? Do you see mobile apps as a potential time and money saving device? Or is developing and maintaining mobile technology seen as an additional unneeded expense? If you are developing mobile technology, will it be proactive’such as the American Airlines or ICE applications, which address customer needs before a problem arises’or reactive, such as a direct link to customer service questions? Share with us in the comments!

The Thing about Call Centers

In a recent article at the New York Times, Alina Tugend discusses the current state of call centers within in the United States. The worst customer service we’ve all seen usually comes from an automated phone system when trying to call into a company. In the 1980s, with the invention of IVRs, companies lost the desire to deal with customers, and chose to save money and use the automated phone systems instead of having people talk with customers live. As a result, their desire to keep customers was outweighed by how much cheaper it was to use the IVRs. Today, Tugend points out that companies are changing that. Contrary to what people think, only 10% of customer call centers are located outside the United States. Companies have also discovered two things about the way customers perceive their call centers. They’ve noticed that it’s cheaper to keep customers in the first place, rather than constantly find new ones to replace the old ones they loose as a result of poor customer service over the phone. They’ve also had to deal with the technology of today’s world spreading word about 1) customers are spreading word about their poor customer service and 2) websites that tell customer show to get past the automated system and communicate with a human.